Slated to take second place behind Fuji’s flagship X Pro1-some of you might remember my short yet passionate fling with that camera-and appeal to a much broader audience. However, in the real world, I consider the X-E1 Fuji’s #1.
more after the break
Fuji X Pro1 with 35mm f1.4 s1/500 f1.8 ISO 500
The X-E1 does pretty much what the X Pro-1 does in a smaller, lighter package, featuring the same superb X Trans image sensor and a better, higher resolution EVF. It doesn’t pretend to be a rangefinder. The no nonsense form follows function design approach pays off and we get a clean, sleek looking camera body. Personally, I think the X-E1 is one of the best looking digital cameras out there.
The X-E1 is almost identical in button/dial layout to the X Pro 1. In addition there is a pop up flash, a 2.5mm stereo mic socket and an electronic shutter release option. A full metal body with a solid tripod socket. So, what do we loose and what do we gain?
We get a slightly smaller, lesser quality rear LCD and we loose the unique hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder.
With this latest release Fuji improves auto focus speed and makes significant manual focus enhancements, now a joy to use with their own and 3rd party lenses. Hurray! X Pro 1 owners can download the latest firmware and enjoy the same improvements we get in the X-E1 right out of the box.
Here is a quick summary of all things improved:
Auto focus speed is much improved under most shooting conditions, even in the dark (however, it still misses more shots then my other cameras, and can’t compete with the best when using the 18mm f2 and 35mm 1.4, things will look different with the 18-55mm zoom lens, which has a much faster linear AF motor=even faster AF speed).
Major manual focus performance improvements, choice of 3x or 10x magnification,
open aperture during manual focusing, requires significantly fewer rotations to get from the closest focusing distance to infinity with Fujinon lenses.
Focuses closer without switching to macro mode
Option to choose the turning direction of the focusing ring in MF mode for Fujinon lenses. (Nothing new, just worth mentioning again)
Improved writing and processing speed, I still highly recommend shooting with the fasted card you can afford,
I am using a SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC I, a 95MB/s read, 90MB/s write capable card and it makes a huge difference.
Auto ISO up to 6400
and here is my wishlist for future improvements:
focus peaking in MF mode
allow 3x/10x magnification while camera writes data to the card
Choice of lowest and highest ISO setting for Auto ISO
Auto ISO in manual mode AND the option to use +- compensation.
allow correct under/over exposure display in full manual mode
Manual selection of slowest shutter speed in P/A modes.
I love shooting with the X-E1. It is just the right size, smaller then the X Pro1 and slightly larger then the X100. I am a big fan of manual aperture and shutter speed dials, being able to see those settings instantly, even when the camera is turned off, is a huge plus. The discreet shutter sound makes candid shooting easy. Autofocus is extremely accurate, especially when shooting wide open with the 35mm 1.4, but the real quantum leap occurs when in manual focus, with native Fuji and 3rd party lenses. Fuji gets it right this time and kudos for listening and updating the firmware. Update: I planned to compare it to the Sony Nex 6, unfortunately the package arrived in such bad shape I had to decline delivery – will update this post once the replacement arrives.
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